When you book a vacation with us or any Colorado dude ranch, you want everything to be perfect for you and your family. You spend your money to treat yourself to a nature-filled, western experience, and you'd rather not have it ruined by a week of rain.
BUT, I have three things to share with you that will hopefully put your mind at ease:
1) Colorado rain is different than East Coast rain. We don't get socked in for days on end without a break in the clouds. Instead, Colorado rain usually means we get an afternoon shower, and the sun comes back out in the afternoon/evening making for a beautiful sunset. Very, very rarely do we get a weather system that sits on us for several days.
2) If you do ever opt not to go out in the rain while you're here, we always have things for you to do. From western movies (though, we don't encourage too much tv watching), playing cards, sipping on hot chocolate or coffee in the saloon, curling up with a good book to helping the wranglers with barn chores (the teenagers usually love this), there's something for everyone.
3) Rain doesn't stop our activities or make things gloomy. Instead, it enhances your experience. Obviously we don't take you out in a lightning storm, but a soft drizzle when you're prepared and have your rain slickers is about as cowboy as you can get.
I've met old ranchers, ski legends, grunge kids and exercise enthusiasts.
Perhaps we're all just happier than the rest of the world to be living in such an incredible place, or maybe we're all dreamers.
But what seems to hold fast is that we're all here because we want to be. From my neighbors down the road in Clark to the friends in downtown Steamboat, the mantra remains...what a charmed life we enjoy in such a beautiful place.
I was fortunate enough to figure out early on that location really does matter. That being around other energetic and adventuresome people (whether that's at 26 or 76) is crucial and that living in nature (not a three hour drive from it) was one of the keys to my happiness and healthfulness. So, from a newbie to the veteran Steamboater, thank you for making this town such a pleasure. For being the first to wave going down Elk River Road. For giving my guests a friendly, western atmosphere. For conserving the gorgeous ranch lands that define this area. And, for making this a place that I'm proud to call home.
Straight from the horse's mouth is a short description from each ranch, lodging or cabin. From luxury to rustic and from all-inclusive to nightly lodging, Clark, Colorado covers it all.
In all its simplicity and adventurousness, you do three things on your vacation: Eat, Sleep and Be Active. It might seem like an unusual way to frame your experience, especially since you’re obviously getting so much more than that. And yet, those three things go a long way in capturing exactly what should be our most important focus as owners, managers, staff, etc. You deserve great eats, great sleep and great activities. Period.
At some time or another, I’ll end up addressing all three, but of those, it’s worth me spending a little extra time letting you know why being active is an important part of what we do.
I’ve always told folks that if you want to sit on your porch all day, curl up with a book and cowboy coffee, then by golly, do it. It’s your vacation, and you should do exactly what you like. And yet, I’m not sure I’ve ever had anyone completely take me up on that offer. By its very nature, dude ranches seem to attract those wanting to be active. Dude ranchers set fun and adventurous schedules, with varying levels of flexibility, and the guests dig it.
But why? Why be so active on a vacation when you could be lying on the beach listening to Kenny Chesney? I’ve wondered the same thing myself. And the only thing I can come up with (other than my preference to listen to George instead of Kenny) is that the activity we do at a guest ranch, being so pivotally different than what you do every day with work, exercise at the gym, grocery shopping, commuting, etc., gives you the mental and physical stimulation that you just can’t get at home.
We throw you into a more natural setting with smells of horse manure, sweeping views of the Zirkel mountains and the feeling of cool, crisp mountain air as it passes over the river. We give you tasks to learn and improve upon with the horseback riding, archery and above all, a little boot scootin’.
There’s nothing quite so special than to feel like you’ve found a part of yourself within the horse that lives its life for you, carrying you to new heights, new views and experiences. It’s when you truly discover what it is that makes you feel so good in nature. It’s when, for the first time in years, you see, hear and feel things that have been around you, but have been almost lost in your hurry. Then you know.